FT - James Lowman, chairman, ACS

ACS chief executive James Lowman

An ACS publication providing guidance for retailers has been praised in an annual government report.

The comment came in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) annual report on tackling loneliness, which measures progress against the government’s loneliness strategy, first published in 2018.

The report highlighted the ACS Wellbeing Guide and its ‘advice on the issue of loneliness, and how retailers can support their employees to develop good social connections’.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Local shops play a positive role tackling loneliness due to their place at the heart of the community serving people from all backgrounds and demographics acting as a social hub for their colleagues and customers.

“Convenience stores supply good quality jobs which are local for all communities, secure and genuinely flexible for both employer and employee and we are pleased that the government has acknowledged our Wellbeing Guide as a key new resource in helping businesses to tackle loneliness.”

The ACS Wellbeing Guide identifies ‘relationships and connections’ as one of the eight ways to wellbeing, while the New Economics Foundation and Co-op research finds the annual cost of loneliness is £82 per employee. The guide includes practical hints and tips on loneliness for retailers and is available here.

ACS is a member of the Government’s Employers’ Leadership Group, Tackling Loneliness Network and is a founding signatory to the Tackling Loneliness Champions Pledge. ACS will also be renewing its campaign on wellbeing in April, which will include a range of activity and new content for retailers and the industry.